Senators, Sabres face up-hill battle with tough remaining schedules

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Senators, Sabres face up-hill battle with tough remaining schedules

The Ottawa Senators extended their win streak to five games over the weekend with back-to-back wins over the Rangers and Blue Jackets. The Senators, who are now tied with the Buffalo Sabres in the standings, are 12-4 straight up since Jan. 25th and sit just three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points back of the New York Islanders, who hold the final two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. Still, Senators fans – or the pundits who had high hopes for team prior to the start of the season – should temper their expectations.

 

Playoff odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Team

Make Playoffs

Probability

Miss Playoffs

Probability

Pittsburgh Penguins

-350

74%

+270

26%

New York Islanders

+135

41%

-165

59%

Florida Panthers

+200

32%

-250

68%

Buffalo Sabres

+220

30%

-280

70%

Ottawa Senators

+450

17%

-650

83%

Washington Capitals

+550

15%

-900

85%

Detroit Red Wings

+1000

9%

-2000

91%

 

Ottawa is listed as a long shot (+450) to make the playoffs, and the true odds suggest they will miss approximately 83 percent of the time. Now, they’re in better shape than the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings, especially after adding defenseman Jakob Chychrun to the mix, but even with injuries, the Sabres seem to have the inside track on squeaking into the playoff picture, but it turns out that both teams have incredibly tough schedules which is why the odds are stacked against them.

 

Remaining Schedule

Ottawa Senators: Boston (1), Carolina (2), Toronto (2), Dallas (1), Edmonton (1), Tampa Bay (2), Colorado (1), New Jersey (1), Pittsburgh (1), Florida (2), Calgary (1), Seattle (1), Pittsburgh (1), Buffalo (1), Vancouver (1), Blackhawks (1), Blue Jackets (1)

Buffalo Sabres: Boston (1), Carolina (1), Toronto (1), Dallas (1), New Jersey (2), Rangers (3), Islanders (2), Florida (1), Detroit (1), Montreal (1), Philadelphia (2), Columbus (1), Washington (1), Ottawa (1), Nashville (1)

Teams that the Senators will face off against in their final 21 games have a median win rate of 56.4 percent and 12 will be on the road, including three back-to-back games. Buffalo will also play more than half of their remaining games (20) on the road, including five back-to-back games, but the median win percentage (51.7) of their opponents is much lower than that of the teams the Senators will play. And, on top of  the tough schedules that they themselves have, the teams they’re chasing (New York and Pittsburgh) have the light schedules the rest of the way.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Rangers (3), Boston (1), New Jersey (1), Dallas (1), Minnesota (1), Colorado (1), Washington (1), Columbus (2), Chicago (1), Montreal (1), Detroit (2), Philadelphia (2), Ottawa (1), Nashville (1), Islanders (1)

New York Islanders: Carolina (1), Tampa Bay (2), Toronto (1), San Jose (1), Los Angeles (1), New Jersey (1), Anaheim (1), Montreal (1), Washington (1), Philadelphia (1), Columbus (1), Buffalo (2), Pittsburgh (1)

Anything can happen in the NHL, and teams will play to make the playoffs until the standings say otherwise, but both the Senators and Sabres face a daunting challenge in their bid for a playoff spot. The odds are stacked against them as their remaining schedules are packed with tough opponents and road games.